Nashville SC Defeats Monterrey & Will Host Messi, Inter Miami In League’s Cup Final

Fafa Picault vs. Monterrey in the League’s Cup semifinals. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

The Boys in Gold pushed through to the very end of the first-ever League’s Cup, beating Monterrey 2-0 to face Inter Miami and World Cup champion Lionel Messi in the finale set for Saturday (Aug. 19) at GEODIS Park.

It’s been a tough journey, from losing to Toluca in the group stage, then beating rival FC Cincinnati in penalties, defeating Liga MX giant Club América in penalties, destroying Minnesota United and then out working Monterrey. All this to play just 90 more minutes in hopes of Nashville wining its first ever trophy.

But it was newest Nashville SC star Sam Surridge who would go on to score the game winner in the 67th minute to make it 1-0, igniting the packed GEODIS Park (over 27,000 fans in attendance) into madness. The play started off with a header from Walker Zimmerman to Hany Mukhtar in the middle of the pitch, which he took up the left side and into the box where he passed it Surridge to knocked it into the far right side of the net.

But Nashville had a handful of prime opportunities that didn’t quite work out in the first half. Most notably an insane golazo from Mukhtar which was called offside after a controversial VAR check.

Another huge part of the win was goalkeeper Elliot Panicco’s performance. Head coach Gary Smith made the bold decision to startPanicco in net instead of usual starter Joe Willis, after Panicco played an excellent game against Minnesota. His decision would go on to work out as Panicco made two brilliant saves that led to Nashville securing its win.

Nashville worked hard to keep its one goal lead with another killer performance by Walker Zimmerman, Dan Lovitz and Dax McCarty who all played fast and physical, to keep Monterrey out of the Nashville SC net.

Fafa Picault would call the game for Nashville with a killer goal from the right side of the box to hit the top of the netting, making it 2-0, game, set match.

Now the Boys in Gold are just one game away from hoisting its first ever trophy the prepare for another quick turnaround and gear up for Messi’s red hot Inter Miami side. Inter Miami defeated Philadelphia Union 4-1 in their semifinal game where Messi scored his ninth goal in just six appearances for the club.

The two teams face off at GEODIS Park on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. CT.

Watch the full postgame press conference in the link below:

Steven Boero